No Such Thing as Privacy

Why does people still do not get it? There is no such thing as privacy. Don’t surf the Internet or put your name, see previous post, real name or photos on the Internet if you don’t respect your privacy.

First, Google Streetview got slammed. It’s a cool technology that brings 360 pano to a whole new level. They got guys driving around New York snapping away with their panorama camera mounted on their vehicle.

Then, Google Apps Term of Service (ToS), stating that (since changed), Google reserves the right to modify and publish user’s content in Google Apps to promote Google’s services. Don’t use it if you’re paranoid in reading the Terms of Service in the first place. For the average user, convenience is key. So who cares?! Google shouldn’t! It’s common sense not to put important or sensitive data on the Net just for convenience sake you goon! The level of convenience needs to be balanced and weight by your common sense to your personal level of comfortability.

Say a resume. Would you save it online? Some actually blog about their or offer it as a download so potential employers, at least in theory, will visit your nice little blog or website to download a copy? Wake up dude! It ain’t gonna happen. You want the jb, print a copy, bring it during your interview and pray you don’t suck at it.

Common sense will tell you your credit card details and details will include the credit card number (duh!), expiry date and the security codeswill be one thing never to store online and preferably not even on your PC if you are paranoid. If you do, make sure you know how to protect it, passwords, encrpytion, heck, make the PC a standalone PC, not networked or connected to the Internet. PC and laptop are cheap now even in Singapore so consider!

So, back to streetview, it’s Singapore for god sake so don’t start. We’ll not whine about it if it’s implemented here and I do hope it will be! It’s like photography, if I am taking from a public place of say, a commercial building example, across the road with a tele lens, the security cannot come over, crossing the road and tell you that it is not allowed and it is not illegal unless you have the intention to do something bad about it/ to the building.

Recently, a geek friend told me, he wants privacy. He blogs but he only wants people to know as much things as he blogs ONLY. Nothing more. I think, you want privacy, you don’t live with an Internet connection, period.

Cyber Athletes

Athletes?! Nowadays, everyone’s exercising it seems. I’m moving my thumb and typing this. I’m actually an athlete too?

The media has over glorified as to one reader recently wrote to a local papers mentioning about the over glorification of computer gaming guys (and gals) who won money, going for some bigger competition (they call it the Championship). It’s like USD$30k for each player for their year long contract. A dream job for some but how many “fatal1ty” do we have? How many actually makes it for long with this as their full time job with more and more product endorsement that makes people actually stays away from the product. Surely the products sell with the endorsement?

Kids, stay in school, play your games, yes please do, but stop dreaming to go “pro”. Truth be told. Who’ll be impressed you wasting a year of your life playing “professionally”? Depending what you’ll be interviewing for. A computer engineering kind of job? Something in the financial market? I think you’ll fit in best selling computer gaming gears but if that your dream job? Maybe Mr. Salesman.

If companies are serious about endorsing their players, the contract would not be allowing the players to continue studying or working while they meet their commitments to the contract. It’s as good as throwing the money away.

Gaming in Singapore local context is over rated. pro or not, studies first. How many “Fatal1ty” are there or will there be in Singapore and for the matter, the world?

The recent media coverage of local gaming as a sports is of poor taste. Yes, many singapore and overseas companies wanna tap into this billion dollar industry but with the media covering every little gaming convention, competition, news, snippets even, it is overwhelming and parents who grew up not knowing what the hell a mouse if for do not and may not know the actual dollars/ cents value versus future of their kids to any form of gaming.

The media local and international must not over glorify the players as athletes. Computer Gaming is not a sport! What sports has so much obese and unhealthy with caffine filled brain, lack of sleep and puffy eyes “athletes”? What sports will allow you to play non stop and eventually DIE FROM IT? Have the people who dream of going “pro” forgotten the guy who died from over laying?

A recent article in Wired offered a glimpse into the real life of sponsored full time gamers from non other than world renowned Korea. It’s much like National Service on whole new level. No online messaging, practice, practice practice! You sleep together, eat together and i suppose shit and bath together even. It’s regimental and harsh with little than expected returns.

Going “Pro” is what i have heard a lot recently due to the holidays, kids are all around eateries, public transport fiddling on their PSP with their love ones/ parents/whoever close by. What’s the point of leaving home then when you want to play games wherever and whenver on your PSP? I counted 7 PSP players in a single MRT cabin on my way home today. That’s only the PSP, there’s the other camp of NDS players. How many of such Pro turn peasants can survive later after their “glory days”? When the sponsors and companies stop sponsoring them? Yes, you can game till you’re 60, 80 years old at what cost or pay?

Real Pro athletes goes into coaching the next generation of medal winners. Can gamers go down that same path?

I bet every single dollar that even Fatal1ty will end sometime. Do you think he does not think of his future? No pain no gain. Forbes article http://www.forbes.com/technology/200…2provideo.html

No pressure?! and relax when he plays. Do the math. Will an army who do not train under pressure and are relax all the time win wars? NO they will not! Bring that down to a more individual level, you don’t jog or train and you take your yearly IPPT, do you pass? Of course no.

So the crux of the whole discussion. Put off a year to game than studies. O Levels. Wendel was in DeVry University in Kansas City before he quit. Compare him to his peers 5 years from now. Who will have a steady income, ability to provide should his peers choose to start a family? At around 26 years of ago, 5 years time will be his 31 birthday and if then he woke up, with his million dollar dried up, endorsement of products gone, the coming of the next “Fatal1ty” whose younger by then compared to him, faster, better and earning and winning more. He’ll be with nothing to fall back on and oh, no Degree either, he quit DeVry Uni remember?

So not even a O level to pursue further studies, it is possible. I personally do not even have a N level cert, let alone a O but it has made me know as compared to my peers, my career advancement is hindered and I have already hit the real upper ceiling of my pay scale that even a degree holder will not hit after working for the same number of years. I was lucky but in reality, how many times lucky can you get?

Till the next Wendel comes along in Singapore with a backup degree to fall back on, forget going Pro and don’t consider yourself “sporty” from doing electronic games.

1Gbps?

The truth. Your PC will not be able to take 1Gbps even your network is 1Gbps in speed. Oct 16 2007’s Digital Life, 58.3MB per sec attained on a demo Fibre to the Home network, Hong Kong broadband network staff did just that speed while a ADSL 6Mbps did 621KB transferring a full DVD of SDaving Private Ryan.

Why? Theoretically harddisk speed for one. We have in the past ATA100 then ATA133 then there’s SATA then SATA 2.0, 100Mpbs, 133Mbps, (we’ll ignore the buffer to host and buffer to the actual disk where the data is stored) 1Gbps and 3Gbps respectively.

I personally run a BF07288285 with no RAID as the OS disk and here’s what the speed is like:

They run off the Asus P5WDG2-WS PCI-X slot on a LSI 53C1010 like so:

Why bother about the network speed then? Hardware devices is still keeping pace and bottlenecking data transferred to them. I still think static IP address is the key. Back in Sept last year, here I spoke about this and it is still not achieved. Why is it that hard to allow home users to actually have static IPs at reasonable prices? Why the deflections from Singapore’s telcos? It could be:

– Market Demand – Who’s willing to pay and how at how much is price considered reasonable? For one, $300SGD a month is not reasonable.

– Abuse – Subscribers abusing their static IP. It’s a double edged sword. Subscribers know that. Tying them to their static IP address and on top of that, the modem’s mac address to the phone line, depending the technologies used, will actually stop a user from doing stupid or illegal stuffs?

– Upload Speeds – I would love 1Gbps seconds downloads but would love at least have that speeds UPLOAD speeds. It’s no secret people do run home web servers serving their web page, blogs, photos or whatever Web 1.0 or 2.0 apps they may be trying or developing. Being able to serve these files faster will be great. So give my 500Mbit/Sec upload please!

– Industry “Frown” – What will datacenters around Singapore and Asia think? If more and more users can actually host their servers from home with small companies maybe even hosting their servers from home or their companies? Balancing risk and the money involved (or rather, savings involved), having a 24 hour air con space partitioned out from an office space, remote IP Camera monitoring, water leakage, electrical surge monitoring systems (opensource based!) to monitor their say, 3 racks of 42U servers. Effectively cutting away this segment of the market from these datacenters.

– Government Bodies – Think all the 3 letters and the first up will be HDB. Rules about having such equipment (read: Racks) in HDB flats?

What ever it is, 1Gbps but the good stuffs are mostly overseas as of now. Contents contents contents! We hear this all the time and still, no local company has proven a killer app that will make a user surf around in Singapore using his super fast 1Gbps lightning speed connection. If he’s still surfing overseas, bottlenecking and eventually, cancellation of plans or downgrade of speeds, we’re back to square one.

Migration

Migration from Geeklog to WordPress is a MUST! Move on! Don’t support people with hidden agenda(s)!

Read this on how to migrate.

AJAX Folks

AJAX and Folksonomy

I kept hearing and seeing these nowadays that curious, I went surfing, here’s what they do.

AJAX, we actually use it often especially if you’re on Youtube. You post a comment while the video is playing and posted, it’s still playing without interrupting play. AJAX allows passing on or receiving of information without interrupting what you were doing to the servers or other servers. In Gmail too, you can switch from typing a reply to discarding it and go back to the inbox in an instant. No loading required.

Folksonomy, yes yes, you’re fireing up Firefox and google-ing for it. Nowadays, anyhting and everything seems to be linking back to Wikipedia. I do not really trust that, read for general knowledge but for in depth explainations, get to the book store for anything else or at least, go read from other reputable webistes. Folksonomy is a tagging system. Very much seen in WordPress here. Some text are small, some bigger and all. It depends who tagged what and what is more or less popularly tagged as affecting the size. More? Read this from NYT.

Now, with these two and many other technologies like RSS, pod casting, blogging, social networking (facebook, 2nd life), mash up (example) and anything that we did not do back then, are known as Web 2.0, that’s web two point zero. Funky way of calling all that.

The world has turned. Mapping out existing friends or collegues relationship and putting actually real information, name, photos, contact numbers, schools attended whatever for the rest of the world to find you. That’s really something very different from the day we started on the Net as to not to review anything real and read everything with skeptism. Generations change and distances are narrowed with the Net but things improve most importantly. Finding a map of singapore on the usual streetdirectory wasn’t good enough nowadays for me, I had to know a good vantage point to shoot my 360 panos. N ot a problem, pop by Google Map or Google Earth, see how the terrain looks like, what surrounding buildings are there like my last visit to Tang Dynasty. I knew exactly what to expect.

Migration

I have not been happy with Geeklog for the recent frontpage posting (discussion thread here) thus have decided to migrate my site www.itcow.com away from Geeklog. If you’re not happy, migrate, discussion these days seem to take too long or the developers won’t see eye to eye within themselves let alone you anyway.

I’ve been trying out other CMS too like Joomla, movable type, drupal, Mambo, phpNuke (which after so many years is still around along with…), phpWS and many others but for the time being, migration will take time and getting the respective modules to work together especially my static Gallery and migrating it to the newer Gallery2 is in the works.

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